I stumbled upon Yankee Cowgirl’s blog that mentioned Congress is working on the MOTHERS (Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression) Act which would “strongly encourage pregnant women into mental health programs – that means drugs – to combat even mild depression during or after giving birth.”
The Mothers Act is pending legislation that will indoctrinate hundreds of thousands of mothers into taking dangerous psych drugs.
He goes on to slam Big Pharma about how they control Congress and how mothers don’t need psych drugs for a natural birth process.
The Mothers Act (S. 1375: Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act) has the net affect of reclassifying the natural process of pregnancy and birth as a mental disorder that requires the use of unproven and extremely dangerous psychotropic medications (which can also easily harm the child).
These are some serious accusations. I got pretty riled up myself and decided to see what Congress said in the bill.
To ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression.
Sounds pretty clear to me. All the Senate wants to do is ensure that new moms are educated about PPD and have access to the services they need in addition to funding research at NIH on the issue. I don’t see all pregnant women being classified as mentally ill anywhere in that. Doesn’t even mention anything about forcing treatment. I decided to take a closer look at Congress’ findings. Here’s my paraphrased synopsis:
- PPD affects moms during and after pregnancy.
- There are three parts to PPD: baby blues, which are normal; mood
and anxiety disorders, which are more severe than normal; and
postpartum psychosis (PPP), which means a momma needs help right away!
- PPD’s symptoms are in the DSM. (I kid you not. This is a real Congressional finding.)
- PPP includes delusions, hallucinations, and mania among other wacky symptoms most moms don’t experience.
- Baby blues is so normal than an estimated 80 percent of moms get
it. PPD strikes 10-20 percent of new moms. PPP is rare but if you’re
the lucky 1 of every 1000 new moms, you might get it.
- No one knows why moms get PPD but anything that’s overwhelming,
difficult, sad, or chemically imbalanced can contribute to this
- “Postpartum depression is a treatable disorder if promptly
diagnosed by a trained provider and attended to with a personalized
regimen of care including social support, therapy, medication, and when
necessary hospitalization.” (Verbatim)
- Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, PPD goes untreated or undiagnosed.
- Untreated PPD can lead a whole host of unfortunate events including fatality.
- Untreated PPD affects the immediate family in a whole host of negative ways.
- “This Act shares the goals of the Melanie Blocker-Stokes
Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act and will help new mothers
who are battling with postpartum conditions.” (Verbatim)
In the Congressional findings, medication is mentioned only as a form of treating PPD. That’s not directly encouraging new moms to take drugs; it’s encouraging them to seek treatment, whether it be therapy or some other
course. Not every new mom will need therapy, hospitalization, or medication, and this bill is far from attempting to “indoctrinate” moms with psych drugs. Also, the bill only mentions “medication” once. It does not even use the word “drug.”
I thought perhaps the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Act had something about medication or drug indoctrination so I checked that bill out. It’s basically a bill that encourages the NIMH to continue research into all things relating to PPD and PPP.
Finally, the MOTHERS Act seeks to establish grants for further research and set up a research conference about the disorder. This piece of legislation, apart from mentioning medication as a form of treatment (along with therapy
and social support, etc.), mentions nothing about forcing new mothers into treatment that they don’t wish to partake. The point of the act is to educate women about the challenges they could face during and after pregnancy.
Yankee Cowgirl’s and Mr. Richards’ posts are unnecessary scare tactics. Pregnancy is not a mental illness; postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis are. Big Pharma isn’t using Congress (in this bill anyway) to push psychotropic medication on “hundreds of thousands of mothers”; it’s a straightforward bill that overall seeks to promote education about the disorder. Big Pharma does enough shady crap to make mental health patients suspicious. Let’s not add to the stinky pile they create on their own.
(Image from Spirit of Motherhood)